Tag Archives: Buddhism

World religions & evangelism videos

I came across this post from a couple years ago and thought I’d re-run it.  This is one of my favorite topics to teach, although I prefer not having to cram it all into one hour!  It works better as a 6-8 week series where you can go more in-depth.

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pluralism.jpg

I did a one hour presentation on world religions for a church group and decided to video tape it as an experiment.  I was pleased with the content of the presentation but learned some things about lighting, sound and pace.  That will make the next one much better. I was hoping it would be shorter but it is hard to cover all world religions and some evangelism basics in one easy session.

I covered some foundational concepts that apply to all religions then addressed some key differences of Christianity versus Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Hare Krishnas, Wiccans and atheists (OK, that’s more of a world non-religion).

I shared experiences I’ve had in witnessing to people in these faiths and some things that helped navigate through conversations effectively.  You really can share the truth without starting a Jihad.

Go here to just see the PowerPoint slides.

Major thanks to Stand to Reason, where I learned much of this.

God’s terms and conditions

If you authentically seek God on his terms, you will find him.  If you “seek” a god of your own making, you will not find him.

That may sound obvious, but think about how so many people in our culture think that all religions lead to God.  Lots of false teachers in churches will tell you such things.

Consider if you went to a company for a job and demanded that they hire you on your terms.  Hey, go ahead and ask for a million dollar salary and unlimited vacation.  Ridiculous, eh?  But only a tiny fraction as ridiculous as thinking you are going to tell God how things get done.

What makes anyone think they get to dictate the terms of the universe and eternal life to the one true God?  Pride.  Satan (“Did God really say . . .?”).

God sets the terms, not us.  In fact, his first commandments make that explicit.

Be bold in prayer, but know that God still sets the terms.  Seek him earnestly, but on his terms.

Where do you find his terms?  In the Bible.  They are actually quite generous.  All you have to do is repent and believe.  No good deeds required – though in response to his mercy and grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit you’ll be inspired to do good deeds.  Better yet, not only are all your sins forgiven but God will credit Jesus’ perfect righteousness to your account.

If you “seek” a god of your own making, you will not find the one true God.  If you’ve been doing that, stop kidding yourself.  Eternity is a mighty long time.

If you authentically seek God on his terms, you will find him.

Acts 17:26–27 (ESV) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

False teacher quits pretending

Chuck Currie claims to be a Christian Reverend but teaches the opposite of what Jesus did on virtually any spiritual topic. I’ve addressed his false teachings several times as well as documenting his status as an unrepentant serial liar and libeller. If he was just some lone heretic he wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But he is typical of liberal theologians and their bad reasoning.

But today he really went all out. This “Christian Reverend” was put off by Brit Hume’s simple premise that Tiger should turn to Christianity to be forgiven and changed. Chuck committed multiple fallacies in attacking Brit and abandoned any pretense of being a believer. Words like his mock the cross and the blood of the martyrs. Watch the video at the bottom then consider Chuck’s text:

FOX’s Brit Hume thinks that if Tiger Woods would become a Christian all would be ok for the disgraced golfer (whose hero image was destroyed by the uncovering of numerous affairs).

Hume simply stated that Buddhism doesn’t offer the forgiveness and redemption offered by the Christian faith. Hume thinks Christianity is true and recommends it. Chuck parades as a “Christian Reverend” but does not recommend Christianity. Think about that.

I’m not offended if leaders of other faiths think their religions are true. I think they are mistaken on the facts, but they don’t offend me. It would be bizarre if they didn’t think their beliefs were true. Why is Chuck offended by Christianity? He is truly ashamed of the Gospel (see Romans 1).

Kudos to Brit Hume for his witness. May all Christians be as clear and bold when given the opportunity to state the truth.

Woods, it seems, practices Buddhism. Why Hume thinks Christianity would make Woods a better person is a mystery to me.

Wow. Uh, maybe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Has Chuck ever read Romans, among other things? Oh, even if he has he wouldn’t believe it.

Just think of all the Christians we all know who have failed to live up to their martial vows (Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Ted Haggard, etc.). Christians fail with the best of them.

1. Maybe they are fakes like Chuck. 2. If Chuck actually understood Christianity he’d know that we don’t claim to be sinless. We’re forgiven and then sanctified over time.

But Hume’s remarks also show a deep misunderstanding of Buddhism as a religion. His remarks were pretty darn offensive, in fact, and laced with ignorance. He asserts that Christianity is better than Buddhism but it is pretty clear he has no real understanding of this great world religion.

Only a false teacher could claim that it would be offensive to advance the religion he is paid to teach. Chuck, just be honest and switch to Buddhism if you think it is true. But Chuck doesn’t appear to understand Buddhism any better than he understands Christianity.

Jesus never referred to another religion as great. He said they were false. If a “Christian” states otherwise he is fake or ignorant.

But don’t just get irritated at Chuck. He’s fulfilling his job description:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Our real irritation should be aimed at the orthodox-but-wimpy Christian leaders who let people like Chuck in the pulpit.

P.S. The Christian faith is based on evidence and reason. The vast, vast majority of historical scholars, including skeptics, agree that a person named Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross, that his followers believed he rose from the dead, that Jesus’ brother James went from being a skeptic to a believer and that a man named Paul went from persecuting the faith to spreading it and that he wrote most of the letters attributed to him in the Bible. Based on those and other facts the physical resurrection is a logical conclusion. More here.

Buddhists make lousy postmoderns

pluralism.jpgBuddhism has an eightfold path which should be followed when trying to avoid and reduce suffering.

  • Right View
  • Right Thinking
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Diligence
  • Right Concentration
  • Right Livelihood

Sounds kinda dogmatic and preachy to me.  There are a whole lot of truth claims there. 

Not that there is anything wrong with that.  It just shows that Christians aren’t the only ones making truth claims, and that there is nothing inherently wrong with making truth claims.  There is something self-refuting about making truth claims about why it is bad to make truth claims.